Solid Showing For Tucker
When sophomore guard Cliff Tucker subbed into the game with 13:41 remaining in the second half, the Terps were down by 14 and momentum appeared to be at North Carolina's back.
But over the next seven minutes, Tucker scored 14 points and pulled Maryland to within two points of the lead.
Tucker played 29 minutes and tallied 22 points. His long-range shooting touch (5 for 7 from beyond the arc) helped the Terps erase their deficit until it was no more.
In recent weeks, Tucker has developed into a key reserve for Maryland. His shooting touch has improved, as has his defensive effectiveness. And his natural athleticism provides the Terps a boost off the bench. This is the player that earned a starting job at the beginning of the season.
But for a long stretch, Tucker did not play much, if at all. At one point a few weeks back, Tucker voiced frustrations over his lack of playing time. Since then, his performance has improved and as a result, his minutes have increased.
"Cliff is really coming on," Gary Williams said. "I'm proud of Cliff because, as you guys know, he wasn't playing for a while and now he's a key to our team. It's takes a lot of perseverance, it takes a lot of will power when you have people telling you the coach doesn't like you, you shouldn't be playing, you know, you hear all those things in those situations, and you know, Cliff and I talk and, you know, I just told him, 'You're going to play before the year is out. Just keep working.' And that's what he's done. Now he's a confident player out there."
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